Model 3 is LOUUUD

Model 3 is LOUUUD

Anyone else have issues with M3 being loud on the highway? Mid-range RW 18" Aeros. Seems like anything above 45-50mph and cabin is loud; have to turn up the volume way too much. I just came from a 2000 Jetta TDI and 2012 Touareg TDI and they were both more quiet inside than my M3. Love the car but I have to admit the noise is bothersome. No wind noise, no rattles, just sounds like I can hear the road all too well. I thought for a 50k$ car it would be better!

CST | 29 January, 2019

Do you have rough roads? the car it's very sensitive to rough pavement.

Mauler | 29 January, 2019

One of the constant observations I get from friends who ride in my M3 (AWD) is how quiet it is compared to their cars, even @ highway 70+ MPH speeds.

RDH32693 | 29 January, 2019

I just picked up my M3 today (1/29) and drove 100 miles back home and it was as quiet if not more than my Honda Civic Si I traded in. I drove City streets, Highways and rural roads and even turned down stereo just to see if the wind noise was as bad as everyone has complained about. I don't hear it in my M3 even when I rolled both front windows down at 50mph that was even more quiet than my Civic for wind noise.

billtphotoman | 30 January, 2019

I have also noticed my LR RWD with 18 in aeros is very sensitive to road texture noise wise. On really smooth textured pavement (such as asphalt) it is really quiet even at highway speeds. On course textured pavement it is indeed loud. So, on smooth textured pavement it is quieter than my wife's 2018 Leaf while on rough textured pavement it is much louder. Lower the tire pressure does help a bit but when my OEM tires are due for replacement I will do some research on replacement tires.

howard | 30 January, 2019

Tires, tire pressure, road conditions. My 18” Michelin X-Ice are a bit quieter than the 20” Performance package. For a premium car it does not have as much road noise dampening. This is due to weight and cost. It is not what I would consider a very quiet car but I have been in worse. Part of the EV trade off. Wonder how quieter the much heavier less efficient Jag is.

neylus | 30 January, 2019

As CST said, the road texture is everything. So I guess tire noise is pretty intrusive. My daughter always has trouble hearing us when she rides in the backseat.

TrueBrit | 30 January, 2019

Yes, it is loud, especially on concrete freeways. On smooth asphalt it is fine. It could definitely use more sound deadening. If you were to sit in the rear seats you would really notice it.

I would start with Dynamat in the trunk area and then move to the doors.I bet it would make a world of difference. Someone should try it and set up a group buy. It also does not have double layered glass on the doors which most luxury cars would have. Lots of electronic toys (I can do without the fire and flatulence).

Although I do like my Model 3 I do not feel it is a luxury car. Carpet quality, road noise, etc. I am not complaining and I am happy with my purchase, but I would not classify it as a luxury car. More like a C Benz or a 3 BMW...not running with the big boys.

I should try a Model X but I really do not need something that size.

mabuck | 30 January, 2019

Rough roads do make it loud in the cabin. It is certainly louder than some luxury cars, I think the interior sits around 67db at highway speeds.

calvin940 | 30 January, 2019

I love how quiet my M3 is. Everyone that has driven in my car (work lunches , outings etc) 100+ km/h has commented how quiet it is. I love listening to music without all that background crap.

ModernTriDad | 30 January, 2019

Prior to taking delivery in Nov 2018, these forums had me very worried about the noise levels in the Model 3. I scoured the Internet for info and videos on the subject. It was one of a couple reasons I considered canceling my order. I watched a YouTube video showing an owner with a decibel meter and it showed about the same levels as ICE cars.

After driving my Model 3 on several long road trips and a lot of local driving in NY and NC, I haven't noticed any noise issue over my last couple cars, including my last - 2015 Ford Explorer Limited. Overall, I find it quieter and more enjoyable to drive than my ICE cars. I definitely don't have an issue with the noise. I have the Performance M3 w/o the upgrade package and with 18" wheels. Mine was manufactured in Oct 2018, which I understand may be better for noise than earlier releases.

Magic 8 Ball | 30 January, 2019

@ModernTriDad Glad you learned that forum FUD is not what anyone should be basing any decision on. Spread the word!

CST | 30 January, 2019

And remember, the Model 3 is not a luxury car. It is however, a premium car.

LostInTx | 30 January, 2019

My experience is similar to others. When compared to other cars, the 3 is quieter on smooth roads but significantly louder on textured or concrete roads.

foodking | 30 January, 2019

what you're hearing is due to the thinner tires and stiffer suspension of the M3. Coming from a 95 passat vr6, 96 passat tdi, 06 jetta tdi, 08 passat vr6, and 10 jetta tdi, those thick tires and stiffer suspension will do it. But the steering feedback from the M3 is pretty good.

Have you driven your 1.9L PD and 2.0CR above 65mph? That's when they get pretty loud cause you gotta rev higher than 2000rpm

kcheng | 30 January, 2019

It's the road. You've just hit the right combo of road texture and tire tread pattern to make a loud hum.

rkalbiarEV | 30 January, 2019

I have two model 3's. They are both very similar in loudness.

Both have been into service for wind noise. I do believe they did a good job of trying to cut down what they could (I saw pics of all the seems blue taped!)

Without question, the Model 3s are much louder than any other EV I have owned or ever been in.
Disappointing for an EV owner, yes.
Louder than most ICE vehicles, NO!

andy.connor.e | 30 January, 2019

Everytime someone says something along the lines of "I thought for a 50k$ car it would be better!"

You immediately lose all credibility and i dont take anything you say seriously.

jdcollins5 | 30 January, 2019

I get told all of the time how quiet the car is, even at highway speeds.

Mike83 | 30 January, 2019

Loud? BS

Rt002k | 30 January, 2019

Deafening silence?

The lack of engine noise accentuates the only remaining noise.

rmlee | 30 January, 2019

^^^THIS^^^ Wife and I were just talking about how quiet the M3 is on highway and side streets. I think most forget how loud an ICE vehicle is until they can’t hear the motor anymore. It’s unrealistic to think you’ll not hear some road noise... but the M3 is quiet.

RES IPSA | 30 January, 2019

My M3 is very quiet... very quiet on the concrete freeways here in San Diego. I hear the wind a little, but that is it. No noticeable noise from the road.

howard | 30 January, 2019

Must be major production differences. Some with sound absorbing materials applied and others not.

eandmjep | 31 January, 2019

Depends on the surface. Hit Fresh pavement at 70 + and its like switching off the motor in an ice dead quiet. We have a road here that is new and they used a vibrating roller on it I would guess, well it makes the tires sing like playing a record, we'll hit it and my wife will say shes singing to us and we just smile. Ice drivers we have spoken to cant hear it.

chuckie | 31 January, 2019

I agree with others that say that it is 100% dependent on the surface. I have been in 3 different M3's (two very early production cars with 18's and my car which is an October production with 19 inch wheels) and they are all very similar.

On smooth new freeways, it is as quiet as a luxury car minus some wind noise at speeds above 70 mph.

On the majority of the textured freeways here in Houston it is unbelievably loud - you have turn up the stereo and passengers have trouble hearing you when talking.

I have tried Noico sound deadening in the frunk/trunk/front doors, added the RPM wind kit, and lowered the tire pressure. These do make a difference but the car continues to be much louder than my previous 2015 Mercedes C300 or my wife's Acura MDX on the majority of freeways that we drive.

Still love the car but road noise is probably the biggest minus about the M3.

zcd1 | 31 January, 2019

Adding some empirical data to this discussion, "Car and Driver" reported the Model 3's interior sound level to be 69 db @ 70 mph.

The 2018 Audi S4 was measured at 68 db in the same circumstances.

kcheng | 31 January, 2019

If you're like chuckie and have alot of freeways around you that are loud, you might think about changing tires. A different tread pattern may be less prone to making a noise with the specific road surfaces around you. If you have a Tesla store or service center near you, you could stop in an ask about whether that's a local phenomenon. and how others have dealt with it. You could also take a test drive in another Tesla with a different set of tires to see if that might be an option.

AWDTesla | 31 January, 2019

@andy.connor.e, good for you. Personally, believe in what you get what you pay for. And for the $70k I paid, I expected more.

CST | 31 January, 2019

Over at TMC, there is a thread where someone added extra seals to the doors and claims it reduced road noise by about 5dB.

howard | 31 January, 2019

AWDTesla +1

Personally, believe in what you get what you pay for. And for the $70k I paid, I expected more.

amusee12 | 31 January, 2019

Hey mine does too!
I got it on camera :

andy.connor.e | 31 January, 2019

Then the problem was your expectations.

AWDTesla | 31 January, 2019

I don't agree.

Mike83 | 31 January, 2019

If your hearing the tires you can get quieter more expensive tires. Check the DB level as your ears might have ringging issues.

zcd1 | 31 January, 2019

"andy.connor.e | January 30, 2019
Everytime someone says something along the lines of "I thought for a 50k$ car it would be better!"

You immediately lose all credibility and i dont take anything you say seriously."

Because he's not entitled to his opinion, or because your opinion is the only one that matters?


Effopec | 31 January, 2019

I was thinking that coming home from the airport the other day after renting an Altima for 3 days. Then the pavement changed and the noise went away completely. So yes, it is very sensitive to pavement roughness.

neylus | 31 January, 2019

Yeah its practically all tire noise (and why wouldn't it be). In our personal experience tire noise is excessive to the point where back passengers have a hard time hearing the front over most freeways. Would add that expansion joints pop pretty loudly too. Just saying it would have been nice to get a wee bit more soundproofing so front/back conversations were more natural. That's my only complaint. Hopefully Tesla will improve for future buyers.

Tesla-David | 31 January, 2019

No noise concerns/issues with our February 2018 LR 19" Wheel M3. Absolutely love the car, and its efficiency averaging 216 wh/mi since picking it up at the Seattle SC.

ODWms | 31 January, 2019

I wonder how much the perceived noises have to do with the 45-50 .psi air pressure in these cars vs the 32-37 .psi in most ICE cars.

In my area the roads are pretty smooth. I don’t experience the noises others do. I have a Mercedes SLK 350 with very low profile tires. The ride is noticeably firmer than my 3 with 20s. I guess that car would be undriveable in other conditions.

jayboyd | 1 February, 2019

I appreciate the constructive comments and will definitely try some of the recs. Had a Model S loaner a couple of weeks ago and it was noticeably more quiet (driving same roads/routes), so I just figured it was the M3 construction. It's really my only complaint about the car so far. Below 40-50mph it's definitely more quiet than my old diesels, but the highways seem different. We've got a variety of road textures her in Portland Oregon but I was driving same roads in my old diesels that seemed more quiet at highway speeds. But no worries...will try some of the above suggestions...still preaching and trying to gain Tesla converts.

Red_Falcon | 2 February, 2019

I don't know if the OEM tires that come with the 18" wheels have an acoustic strip in the tire as the Michelin 4S's do on the 20" wheels that come with the P3D+, but when I switched them out for the Michelin AS3+ for the winter here in St. Louis, I too noticed much more road noise with the AS3's. I've used this tires on my previous car and love them and still highly recommend them; it isn't that they are making more noise but rather there's no other noise (engine noise) to help hide the road noise. For me having the high performance grip in cold weather that the AS3's have over the 4S's, I can live with the noise for 3 months out of the year. For those living in warmer climates, I would consider the 4S's acoustic seem to be gliding along on air. They are so much more quieter than the AS3+'s.

ODWms | 2 February, 2019

I do notice when traveling slowly on back roads, that you can hear road gravel/sand/dirt soraying under the car and hitting the undercarriage/wheel wells, etc. Never noticed that in ICE cars I’ve owned before. I’d imagine it’s due to a lack of sound deadening material, but I don’t know for sure if my ICE cars had said material either.

urs | 2 February, 2019

Yup - on rough pavement the noise is unbearable. We got the car primarily for my wife, but she refuses to drive it because of the noise. And it did give me headaches on longer drives. So I went to work and plastered sound deadning material wherever I could get it on - wheel wells, trunk, under frunk, hood, doors, etc., double layers in many places.
Now it does not give me a headache any longer, but it is still very loud on rough pavement.

urs | 2 February, 2019

We also have a 2013 Model S. Although it is much quieter than the Model 3 it also is loud on rough pavement. After much research - reading hundreds, if not thousands, of consumer comments - I put Cooper Zeon RS3 G1 on it. They are quieter, but we have only less that 1000 miles on them so far and we have to see how they perform once the have some wear on them.
They are definitely quieter than the Godyear Eagles with the silencing foam on rough pavement.
Does anybody have any experience with quieter tires for any Tesla?

RedShift | 2 February, 2019


I’ve added noise insulation to my 2013 S in the same way. It’s nice and quiet now. Planning the same treatment for my 3. Yesterday I sealed the square bass port under the rear parcel shelf taking care to punch a few small holes in it. The whole area was bare metal before my treatment. I am going to be removing rear seats and the trunk liner next, followed by rear wheel wells.

urs | 2 April, 2019

Reporting back on the Cooper tires (2013 Model S): They got noisier after a few 1000 miles, but are still better than the Goodyears with the silencing foam on rough pavement, in my opinion. But the difference is not that great any more.

Quinten | 2 April, 2019

This would be awesome if some family has two Model 3 and notice different road noises going to the same routes. Any taker?

jpvigneault | 16 April, 2019

I have two Model 3 one on 18(tsportline + oem tire) and one on 19 (oem) for some reason the one on 18 is a lot louder, not sure why...